One Le Sueur-Henderson girls tennis player was able to finish an undefeated regular season, but the Giants team endured its first loss, 1-6 at the hands of 2019 section champions Litchfield Sept. 29.
“We knew it was going to be a tough meet,” said LS-H coach Linda Seaver. “Litchfield was undefeated on the season so far and brought back much of their team from last season that went to state. The girls were excited and ready for a tough meet. It was good to end our season with tough competition as we head in to playoffs.”
The Giants were slotted in as the No. 2 seed in the Section 2A playoffs, behind only Litchfield. This means LS-H would be the home team in its first two rounds, before potentially traveling to Litchfield for the final.
Against Litchfield, the only Giants winner was Morgan Jones at No. 3 singles. She completed an undefeated season, mostly at No. 3 singles, though she also played at No. 2 once and No. 4 a couple times. Jones edged out a close first set win a tiebreaker and then cruised in the second set to a 7-6 (7-5), 6-0 victory.
“She has been playing great tennis this season and continues to improve her play and confidence with each match,” Seaver said. “She moved the ball well against a very tough opponent, hitting her spots and had good consistency with her serves and groundstrokes.”
Greta Nesbit played a tough match against the top player in the section Avery Stilwell, losing 3-6, 6-1, 0-6. It was Nesbit’s first loss of the season.
“Greta played a tough match and was able to take it to three sets,” Seaver said. “Greta was able to play with defense, mixing up her strokes to try and stay in each point. They had great rallies.”
The other three-set match on the day was at No. 1 doubles. Emma Seaver and Darbi Dunning, of LS-H, won the first set but weren’t able to keep the momentum going, losing 7-5, 3-6, 1-6.
“In the first set. they came from down 1-3 to win 7-5,” Seaver said. “Darbi and Emma did a great job of playing with offense in the first set and played aggressively. They won a lot of their points by controlling the net.”
At No. 2 singles, Chloe Brandt matched up with another top player in the section, losing 4-6, 2-6. Despite the loss, Brandt showed she can compete with high quality opponents.
“Chloe has great pace and a strong serve,” Seaver said. “She is showing a lot of improvement in gaining more consistency and patience.”
At No. 4 singles, Makenna Reinhardt kept it close in the first set, losing the match, 5-7, 1-6.
“Makenna played an excellent first set,” Seaver said. “She moved the ball well and changed direction often, keeping her opponent moving.”
At No. 2 doubles, Anna Pavlo and Mia Schwarz were reunited but couldn’t keep up with their Litchfield opponents, losing 1-6, 4-6.
“Anna and Mia came back stronger in the second set and played more at the net and used better angles,” Seaver said.
And at No. 3 doubles, Ella Nesbit and Halle Bemmels kept both sets close, but ultimately lost 3-6, 3-6.
“They stayed in the match against a tough third doubles team,” Seaver said. “They continue to improve with each match.”
Despite the ending loss, the Giants had an excellent regular season, winning all of their other meets, along with a conference championship. And throughout the year, the team has only gotten stronger.
“I’m proud of the way the girls have been focused all season on working hard and improving,” Seaver said.